2019 has been my favorite year yet.
And I don’t say that lightly.
I feel as if I’ve grown in almost every area of life, though the year certainly wasn’t without its failures and foibles. But God’s grace is sufficient, and I am so excited to see what the New Year brings.
Namely, our daughter!
Yes, if you haven’t yet heard, Devin and I are delighted to be expecting a baby girl due in April, and I could not be more thrilled (anxious-excited-terrified-overwhelmed-elated!) to meet her this spring. I feel as if I’ve been blessed with an easier-than-average pregnancy, though it’s not been without its memorable moments.
For instance, I had my first ultrasound in the Emergency Room and “threatened miscarriage” was written on my chart; I had a UTI and kidney stones combined. Never have I been in such pain before, and oh the fear! But as I lay there on the table alone and heard the ultrasound tech say our little baby was fine, I could not get over God’s grace.
I’m having a baby.
So yes, most of my planning for 2020 involves this new little life.
Baby registry, check. Nursery, check. Reading mama books, check, check, check!
But let’s reverse for just a moment and reflect back on the year!
2019 Marriage Wins
Probably the biggest journey Devin and I embarked upon this year was starting the adoption process in January! We filled out reams of paperwork, attended classes, and passed our home inspection on the first try. You can read more about our story here. Per policy, our file is on hold until our baby is here, but we plan to re-open and start pursuing our big kids once she is!
In 2019, Devin and I read books together that inspired and shaped us. Our favorite was Cherish by Gary Thomas, a favorite author! Read our joint review here.
Starting in the spring, we also instituted a rhythm of weekly date nights, on Wednesdays, which has been a welcome mid-week break! We rarely go out, sometimes go for a walk in a nearby park or around our neighborhood, and often stay in to play a game or read or talk. We are pretty low-key people and cheap dates. :)
We also celebrated our third wedding anniversary with a weeklong vacation in Florida we’ll never forget because we spent our actual anniversary covered in aloe from wicked sunburn. ;) #memories
2020 Marriage Goals
- HAVE A BABY AND BECOME PARENTS TOGETHER. So, yeah
- Read Devotions for a Sacred Marriage together (also by Gary Thomas)
2019 Home Wins
Not only did we officially do away with the fixer-upper status of our home, we’ve now settled in as we’ve never done before. As in, we actually hung things on the walls and bought a new couch! And while the house projects never truly end, it is so much fun checking off the next thing on our list and realizing it was entirely a “want-to” project (hello, garage organization!) rather than a “have-to” as in those early days (like flooring!).
We love our little Cobb Cottage.
Some of the other projects we tackled this year include painting an accent wall in our bedroom, painting our front door a bright, cheery teal, and installing shelving in both “extra” bedroom closets (one of which has been renamed the nursery!).
2020 Home Goals
- Um, I don’t really have any except bring our baby girl home here!
2019 Spiritual Wins
I finished reading through the Bible again! This is my sixth or seventh time, and it took me 18 months to finish a 12-month reading plan because I took breaks to complete an Advent reading plan and do some other studies with our amazing church family. It’s always rewarding to finish another read-through of God’s Word and get to see His redemptive plan laid out for us in Scripture!
2020 Spiritual Goals
- I’d like to read at least 12 books on spiritual development, or one per month. I’m just a happier, better person when I’m reading, which leads me to my next point:
2019 Reading Goals
I set out at the beginning of the year to up my reading game. I’ve always been a reader, but in recent years (*cough* since meeting Devin) my “free” time has been devoted to things other than books. Important things! But I missed reading regularly, and so I implemented some new strategies (more on those in this post!) in order to fit more reading time into my day and I’m quite pleased with how it all worked out.
I ended up no longer using the special to-read sub-list I’d created of books I wanted to read this year, but I’ve significantly whittled down my to-read list to books I actually want to read someday. I even organized our entire book collection using the Goodreads app (which I highly recommend, along with the free library reading app, Hoopla!).
This was a MAJOR project I’m glad to have done before I purged our book collections again so the nursery could be, well, the nursery and not just the book-hoarding room it had become. ;)
2019 Writing Wins … or Not
At the beginning of 2019, I set a goal to blog at least once a month, and I failed 50% of the time to reach that goal. :)
know some are saying blogs are going by the wayside in this digital space and writers like myself should seriously consider focusing in on Instagram or Facebook, but you know what I’ve come to realize? Social media just doesn’t fill me like blogging does. It stresses me out sometimes, honestly. So I no longer have any social media on my phone, and I’m a whole lot healthier for it. I’ll keep subscribing to blogs via email and keep this corner of my online space alive, while checking in on social media whenever I want. My 2020 goal is (yet again) to blog once a month. We’ll see!
2020 Writing Goals
- Something I’m super excited about in 2020 (besides the birth of my daughter!) is releasing my sixth book, Follow the Dawn. You’ll definitely see me all over social media about that!
Those aren’t all of my 2020 goals for the year, of course. Those are safely tucked inside a Google doc, and printed versions are hung only at my desk and in our bedroom closet for me to refer to throughout the year. But in 2020, my main goal is to take it slow and adjust to parenthood with Devin and life as a family of three. I think it’s going to be a pretty swell year.